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'All roads lead to Putin' - Pelosi on Trump as House holds off on impeachment vote

16 octobre[ —]

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said late Tuesday the U.S. House is holding off on a vote to move forward with opening an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Pelosi said Trump as the House investigates: “all roads lead to Putin.”

“We are already doing an impeachment investigation,” said congressman Eric Swalwell on MSNBC shortly after the House speaker's press conference, referring to ongoing interviews on Capitol Hill of a host of individuals sought for information about the Trump administration's political “dirty tricks” efforts in Ukraine.

Hook up to clean energy with this digital power company

16 octobre[ —]

There's overwhelming support for clean energy, and the planet is giving us more reasons to invest in renewable power sources with every passing year. Even in the most inhospitable areas, wind and solar can provide a good chunk of our power, if not all of it. So why aren't we all taking advantage of it?

As with most things in our society, it takes a good business plan. And Arcadia Power might just have one.

Simply put, they do the legwork of finding renewable energy sources in your area. They then serve as a middleman between you and your existing power company, negotiating prices based on the sources they find and purchasing energy certificates by proxy.

Not only will this result in a better environment and more peace of mind on your part, but it can also actually save you money. In many cases, that clean power is cheaper, and Arcadia will pass the savings on to you, letting you know how much you've saved each month and how much of your power bill went to green, planet-wise sources.

The more members Arcadia gets, the more collective bargaining power they have. As if you needed a bigger hint, sign up is easy - in a matter of minutes you can have your own account, keep your existing power company and get a $20 Amazon gift card or four standard LED bulbs as a bonus.

Advice from these dope-smoking lawyers is useful for non-stoners, too

16 octobre[ —]

The Pot Brothers at Law are California attorneys who specialize in defending people arrested on cannabis charges. They have a YouTube channel where they offer short video tips, usually a variation of the cardinal rules of interacting with cops: shut the fuck up, never consent, and don't interfere.

In this video, the Pot Brothers want you to know that the smell of marijuana in California doesn't constitute probable cause. If a cop smells weed and asks you about it, say "I'm not discussing my day." Period.

Image: YouTube

Taco Bell is recalling 2.3 million pounds of ground beef for metal shavings

15 octobre[ —]

Taco Bell issued a press release announcing that it was recalling 2.3 million pounds of seasoned beef from its restaurants and distribution centers. The recall was prompted when a customer said they found a metal shaving in their food.

The problem was discovered when a customer reported they found a metal shaving in their menu item. To ensure the safety of our guests, the company immediately partnered with the supplier to shut down the supply chain, remove the product from restaurants and distribution centers and notify the USDA.

The product was produced at one plant location on only one of the two lines used to make seasoned beef. This product was sent to distribution centers in the following states: Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Virginia.

A new copyright bill would be a disaster for how regular people use the internet

15 octobre[ —]

[My EFF colleague Katharine is back with a very important message about a singularly stupid and dangerous legislative proposal that is steamrolling through Congress; even by the standards of stupid and dangerous Congressional copyright rules, this one is an exception -Cory]

Every year, for a couple of years now, Congress has debated passing some version of the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (CASE Act). It’s supposed to be the answer to artists’ prayers: a quicker, cheaper way to deal with infringement than going to court. But the way this bill is written (and re-written, and re-written, and re-written) doesn’t do that. It just makes it easy to bankrupt people for sharing memes.

The CASE Act creates a small claims court for copyright claims. Sort of. The maximum amount that can be awarded is $30,000 per proceeding. And the CASE Act allows statutory damages for unregistered works, which is not permitted in courts—so you might actually end up owing more in the “small claims” framework than in a lawsuit. This might be a “small claims” framework in a legal sense, but for the almost 40% of Americans who would have trouble coming up with $400 in an emergency, it won’t feel that way.

And it’s not a court, either. What the CASE Act actually creates is a Copyright Claims Board staffed by Copyright Claims Officers in the Copyright Office. That means your case won’t be heard by a real judge (much less a jury), and many of the hard-won protections you get in court—like a growing understanding of the importance of fair use—may not apply.

So what actually will happen is that a board you’ve likely never heard of will send you a notice that there has been a claim against you. If you ignore it, you’re bound by whatever decision they make, since the CASE Act also makes appealing decisions very difficult.

You can choose to opt out, by sending an opt-out notice to the Copyright Office within 60 days of getting notice of the claim against you. Of course, that would require you to know how to do it and do it correctly, and the CASE Act contains no requirements that it be easy for regular people to opt out. The opt-out mechanism is left to the Copyright Office to create after the bill is passed.

Or you can try to defend yourself, getting a lawyer and still being forced to expend money even if you did nothing wrong.

Large-scale, repeat infringers and infringers with sufficient resources would be able to find their way out of the system. The system would also make it easy for trolls to file claims and then offer to make the claim go away for a little bit less than what going through the system would cost.

A lot of how we use the Internet is based in sharing: memes, images, words, music, whatever we want. The CASE Act could make doing those things—even when they’re perfectly legal to do—feel dangerous. It’s a bad deal all around, which is why you should take the time today to call Congress and tell them not pass this terrible bill.

Four years later, and I am still using my magnetic tool holder every day

15 octobre[ —]

I bought this wall-mounted magnetic strip in 2015 to have easy access to tools I need for simple household tasks: opening packages, hanging pictures, assembling furniture, tightening loose nuts, installing door locks, measuring things, simple plumbing repairs, etc. It's much better than keeping the tools in a kitchen drawer, because I can instantly find the tool(s) I need. The magnet is very strong, so I don't have to worry about a tool falling off. The strips come in various lengths. The one I bought is 24 inches long. The shortest I've seen on Amazon is seven inches.

American are being hit with "zombie debts" from government benefits in the 1980s

15 octobre[ —]

The US government has enlisted the aid of high tech companies to find and hound people it allegedly overpaid decades ago for food stamps and other assistance benefits. The letters inform recipients that they have no right to contest or appeal the alleged debts (often for thousands of dollars) because they were incurred over thirty years ago and the time period to appeal expired long ago.

If the recipient of the letter doesn't pay, the state will tell the Department of Treasury to withhold tax refunds, military retirement pay, and social security disability checks.

From The Guardian:

In the private market, a zombie debt is a debt that is past its statute of limitations, not owed, paid in full, or otherwise contested, yet which has found its way into the hands of a collection agency intent on pursuing payment by any means necessary.

Those agencies are known to harass, threaten and trick consumers into paying out-of-date private debts, which they buy for pennies on the dollar. In 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was passed to protect people against the aggressive tactics collection agencies use – calling at all hours, contacting employers, deception, publishing debtors’ names – and to require that creditors prove that a debt is actually owed.

Unfortunately for Team 3335, the “overpayment” they’re battling is government debt; they enjoy none of these protections. If private zombie debt is surprisingly easy to kill – asking a collection agency for proof the debt exists can often make it vanish forever – government zombie debt is just the opposite, rising like a phoenix from the ashes of the most difficult times in people’s lives, over and over again.

EFF is hiring a community organizer!

15 octobre[ —]

One of the coolest initiatives of the Electronic Frontier Foundation is the Electronic Frontier Alliance, a network of autonomous community groups that work on local issues with support from each other and EFF: everything from getting facial recognition banned in their communities to forcing local police departments to seek public comment on new surveillance tech initiatives.

EFF is currently hiring a community organizer to run the EFF side of this effort: the gig involves traveling around to different EFA groups, training and mentoring community organizers, bridging between technologists and other EFF-affiliated groups and community activists and more.

The Organizer will support the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s local advocacy efforts, and engage in outreach to community groups, with a focus on technical communities and hackerspaces. Working closely with the Activism team, the Organizer will spend part of their time traveling throughout the US to speak at events and facilitate workshops, and part of their time at our home office in San Francisco working to grow our national network by developing remote relationships with organizers and coordinating outreach to new groups. Regardless of location, a portion of this individual’s time will be spent documenting outreach efforts by conducting interviews and writing case studies.

The ideal candidate will have passion for protecting digital freedom, value tools and resources that empower people to share knowledge and creativity freely, and have the ability to think critically and prioritize time effectively. You excel at bringing people together to work for a common purpose. You’re adept at implementing: finding solutions and adapting to changes as ideas turn into projects and campaigns. This Organizer will help us develop local advocacy campaigns in the areas of copyright reform and access to information, so experience and expertise in those fields is highly advantageous.

This position starts at $73,500 per year.

Organizer [EFF Jobs]

The Office's Pam and Angela have a new podcast about The Office

15 octobre[ —]

Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, aka The Office's Pam and Angela, are launching a new podcast together about The Office. Listen to the trailer below. Titled “Office Ladies,” the podcast will feature the two actresses, who are real life best pals, rewatching every episode of the TV series and bantering about it. It premiers tomorrow! From an interview in the New York Times:

So where did the idea for the podcast come from?

KINSEY I was going through my garage, and I have all of these Rubbermaid bins full of photos and memorabilia. Jenna jokes that I’m a hoarder because I save everything. I would save a little note that Oscar passed me, a drawing that Jenna drew or a prop. I have Michael Scott’s business card.

FISCHER You have Dwight and Angela’s wedding invitation.

KINSEY So I was going through it all and Jenna came over and was looking through it with me, and it made us really nostalgic. We started reminiscing, and the 15-year anniversary is coming up so we thought this is a great opportunity for us to rewatch it and talk about our memories, our behind-the-scenes moments and share it with the fans.

Trump on Twitter: "Impeach the Pres."

15 octobre[ —]

Finally, Trump tweeted something this morning that I can agree with: "Impeach the Pres." This came at the end of a longer tweet filled with the usual brags and exaggerated claims.

Via Mashable:

Trump is infamous for splitting tweets in awkward places and chaotically threading his thoughts, so at first it seemed as though there would be more letters on the way. (Impeach the Press, perhaps?) But no. Trump tweeted "Impeach the Pres" and that's it. So it seems that was really just the tweet.

Image: by Gage Skidmore -, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

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